Ok, so you’re zooming down the highway and suddenly you think, “dang, I sure am hungry.” You spot a town up ahead. Looks like maybe 300 people live there. Then you spot a roadside ristorante, slam on the brakes, pop outta the car and walk a few steps to the veranda where a table is waiting for you.
You glance at the menu and order the fresh porcini salad followed by Tortelloni stuffed with radicchio and speck, served in a cream sauce that contains poppy seeds. It is sublime; a work of considerable expertise that makes you want to consume more than a normal human should stuff down his craw. In fact, the couple at the next table over complain to the waitress that the food is too good; it caused them to eat too much.
Somehow, the thought of something like this happening in the US—where I’ve spent most of my 56 years—is so slim that I can’t conjur the odds in my head (unless you like something some people call “loose meat” or “made rite” in which case I’m very, very sorry for you). Anyway, if it did happen, you wouldn’t be able to eat because you weren’t showing the proper respect for the food by wearing a suit and tie—which you’re not.
And that’s exactly the point—getting good food here that isn’t boiled hamburger is absolutely normal—and it’s the normalcy which stuns you.
Read more about the restaurant on Europe for Visitors.
Reason to Like Italy 2
Last night it was hot, and we’d been in the car most of the day. I pulled a bottle of white wine out of the fridge and uncorked it. It tasted mighty good. Not spectacular, but I’d say it was a darn fine $8 bottle of wine.
Then Martha popped that thought bubble, “hey, that was the wine we were going to cook with. You know, the one that we got for 1€ at the market.
It’s entirely natural to drink decent wine in Italy that you don’t pay through the nose for.
Reason to Like Italy 3
You look around Italy you’re surrounded by antiquity, tradition, natural beauty and even some fine, bare-breasted women guarding a church entrance in Todi.
They’re entirely natural. Or at least I think they are.